When the news broke the Winnipeg Jets would be without their No. 1 centre for up to two months earlier this season, both captain and coach, admittedly, feared the worst.
"Terrified isn't the right word," a more relaxed Blake Wheeler said after his 'running mate,' Mark Scheifele returned, "but I was concerned about how it would work."
Paul Maurice, Wheeler's 22 teammates and the many thousands of Jets fans glued to their phones awaiting the prognosis the following day had a similar mindset.
The team had just come off an electric home-ice win over the Edmonton Oilers, were 10 games above .500 and were poised for a big second half.
Without Scheifele, though - the preeminent player in their stable of star talent - that task seemed all but impossible now, they thought.
Instead, they rattled off an 11-2-3 record and remained atop the Central Division standings during that time, thanks in large part to the play of their All-Star captain, who moved to the middle and served admirably in Scheifele's absence.